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Robert Gibbs, Warner Bros. Discovery’s New Head of Comms, Is ‘the Right Leader’ at This ‘Transformative Time,’ Zaslav Says

Warner Bros. Discovery officially announced the hiring of Robert Gibbs, former press secretary in the Obama White House, as its chief communications and public affairs officer.

Gibbs will start the role on Aug. 5 and report to CEO David Zaslav. Gibbs takes over the top comms job at the media conglomerate after the exit of Nathaniel Brown in January. Word of Gibbs’ appointment at WBD emerged late Monday.

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“At this transformative time in our industry, Robert is the right leader to assume this new, critical global role, as we continue to grow the Warner Bros. Discovery brand and presence around the world,” Zaslav said in a statement Tuesday. “Robert is an insightful and respected leader with experience spanning Fortune 500 companies, the White House and winning political campaigns. He will be an invaluable part of the team as we create the most captivating stories and content for consumers around the world. I am thrilled to welcome him to WBD.”

Gibbs most recently served as a partner at Bully Pulpit International, a strategic communications, public affairs and corporate reputation advisory firm. From 2015 to 2019, Gibbs was McDonald’s EVP for corporate relations and global chief communications officer, overseeing the fast-food chain’s corporate communications, internal and executive communications, government relations and public affairs teams. At McDonald’s, Gibbs globalized the communications function, led communications strategy for the company’s launch of its home-delivery service, and “drove significant awareness of key strategic initiatives including improved food quality and the ‘America’s Best First Job’ campaign,” according to WBD’s announcement.

Prior to McDonald’s, Gibbs held several senior communications and advisory roles in the Obama White House and Obama’s presidential campaigns. He was the Obama administration’s first White House press secretary and an assistant to the president from January 2009 to February 2011. Gibbs began working for Obama in 2004 as communications director for his U.S. Senate campaign and held the same job in Obama’s U.S. Senate office and during the 2008 presidential campaign. After leaving the White House, Gibbs served as a senior adviser to President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.

“I couldn’t be happier to join Warner Bros. Discovery and to help tell the incredible stories of so many iconic brands across entertainment, news and sports,” Gibbs said in a statement provided by WBD.” I’m particularly excited to work with the global team to fully and clearly capture WBD’s vision and communicate the meaningful growth potential in front of us. I am looking forward to getting started and being a part of this world-class organization.”

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